Wednesday, June 15, 2011
After The Boy finally submitted to taking me to The Cheesecake Factory for my birthday, I convinced him that the Vietnamese Tacos appetizer would be good.
Side Note #1: The Boy was hoping I would want to go to a dressier restaurant for my birthday, but my first suggestion was our weekly spot for Vietnamese. He gave up after that. That's how we finally agreed on The Cheesecake Factory.
Side Note #2: I typically don't order Vietnamese food in non-Vietnamese restaurants, but I was in the mood for Vietnamese.
Side Note #3: I always get the same thing at The Factory - Spicy Ahi Tempura Roll. So good. God, so good.
The Vietnamese Tacos came to our table and they looked so yummy! I wanted to take a picture...but I left my phone at home. "Hey babe, can I see your phone?" "Jenny. No. Eat." Sad face.
I will describe them to you. Wait, I found a picture online. You can see what they look like here.
Then, we took a bite. It was so good. We left one of the tacos for after our entrees so I could remember the taste to make something similar at home.
I made a simplified version because I just wanted the essence of the food without too much work. Seriously, it's just a weekday dinner. :)
I made mine with pork. I made a second batch with skinless boneless chicken breast because The Boy doesn't like pork.
I would recommend using a slow-cooker for the meat preparation, but since I don't have a slow-cooker, I used pans with lids.
I cut the meat into large chunks, seasoned with salt and pepper and seared in a pan. Add water, soy sauce and a teaspoon of sesame oil. I quartered an onion and added half in the pork and half in the chicken. Lid the pan, turn the heat to low, let it cook for about 2 hours or until fork tender. When it's done, use two forks to pull apart the meat. Yuuu-huuummm.
The topping is really easy...
Cucumber, thinly sliced
Coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots)
Cilantro, rough chop
5:2:1 ratio (I totally made this up; I didn't measure, but this sounds pretty good)
Rice Wine Vinegar (sushi vinegar)
+ a splash of Lime Juice
Toss the veggies in the dressing. They are now very happy.
Last night, I did add sesame seeds on top, but today for lunch (fine, breakfast), I forgot before photographing and promptly eating. But you can add sesame seeds to make it look fancy schmancy.
Throw all this on a flour tortilla, in a rice paper wrap, between two slices of bread, in an English muffin, on a bagel, on a bed of rice, on a bed of noodles...
For a vegetarian alternative, I would use fried tofu in place of the meat. Skip the slow-cooking all together.